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Portrait of a Lady

1800 Unidentified miniature in relief (wax) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Edith Coon Carr 1966.4.2 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“Good wax portraits are hard to find. Bad ones, fresh from the maker’s hand, are as plentiful as cigarette advertisements.” Anonymous quote in Antiques, May 1923

Luce Center Label

In the 1780s, women began wearing large mobcaps, which were made out of gauze or net. In this miniature the woman’s ruffled cap covers her entire head and has a large mauve bow in the front and a smaller one in the back. The artist portrayed the woman in profile to highlight the diamond earring that twinkles against her shawl. Her slight smile suggests she expected to be admired for her jewelry, which symbolized her wealth and status.


Dress - accessory - hat

Portrait female - unidentified - bust

Portrait female - unidentified - elderly

Portrait female - unidentified - profile

painting - miniature